Blades and Owls tipped to keep heat on top two

Fighting for position: Both clubs are battling for promotion
Fighting for position: Both clubs are battling for promotion
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The Football League is really in the swing of things now.

Both Sheffield teams will play three times in seven days, as the pack starts to separate into a range of mini battles. And what a start it has been for both Wednesday and United.

With 15 matches gone, they sit third and fourth respectively, within just two points of Huddersfield in the automatic promotion slot and one point of each other.

Let’s start with the Owls who since the last time I wrote this column beat Colchester 2-0 at Hillsborough and then the shock result of Tuesday night, billed as a ‘crazy 15 minutes of football’, according to Megson lost 3-2 to Carlisle.

The home side went 3-1 up before Gary Madine was sent off against his old club for two bookings. Megson was far from happy at the result which ended Wednesday’s seven-game run, stating that it “should have been over before half-time”.

He now has a big task on his hands to pick his players up ahead of their next league fixture in just a few days time. Wednesday will take on Wycombe at Adams Park, who need a result as they are currently lying second-bottom with a meagre 12 points.

They put in a brave performance on Tuesday but in the end fell to a brace from Bradley Wright-Phillips as Charlton extended their lead at the top of League One with a 2-1 win. Unsurprisingly, I’ve made Wednesday big favourites for this clash at 11/10. They aren’t quite evens because I know that Wycombe is not an easy place to go, but in saying that the table doesn’t lie!

Moving on to the Blades, they followed up a disappointing draw on Saturday against Leyton Orient with an impressive 2-1 win over MK Dons on Tuesday.

The game at The Matchroom Stadium was gutting for United as they took a late lead in the 84th minute with a scrappy goal from Chris Porter. This came after a sending off in the middle of the second half off Orient left back Charlie Daniels. Despite this late goal, they couldn’t quite kill the game off and endured heartbreak when Kevin Lisbie scored a 96th minute equaliser against the run of play with almost the last kick of the game.

After this frustrating result, Danny Wilson clearly gave the players a dressing down because they looked like a new team on Tuesday. The visitors to the Lane started well but this was dampened when Richard Cresswell scored after 22 minutes.

Despite a positive end to the half, the Blades couldn’t get that second goal, which proved costly when Milton Keynes equalised early in the second half. However, there was thankfully no similarities from Saturday when on-loan Matt Phillips scored what proved to be the winning goal. The Blackpool midfielder has now scored three goals in four appearances for Wilson’s men.

United now take on the Grecians, Exeter City, at home on Saturday. Paul Tisdale’s men started the season awfully and were languishing in the relegation zone but after two wins on the spin, against Rochdale and Walsall, which was their first away victory, they have climbed to 20th spot and could prove to be a tricky opponent for the Blades.

“I’ve gone and done it again and billed the tie as a potentially difficult encounter but I’m still so sure of the outcome that I’ve made United as big favourites, especially as they’re at home. Danny’s men are 8/15, with the visitors a potentially intriguing 5/1.